Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


I've just emptied about four inches of rain water from a plastic ice-cream carton.. "Oh, look at this!" I said - and tipped it out without thinking. It's back in place now. I'll note the moment and measure the water properly this time round. We're glad of rain. It's steady and warm and just the kind of thing we sing about at harvest festivals - but it's no good when you need another picture for a post.

So . . . rather than get left completely behind with everything (I have several semi-posts semi-ready) we'll have a partial post about a tree that's leaking its sap - or, should I say, its resin?

Looking up at the trunk of tree with cones.

The picture I needed (still need) is of this tree from a distance so you can see its shape and help identify it with me. There are a lot in this area. They aren't wild. They are in parks and gardens and public places and I don't know what they are.

Looking through cones with branches to the blue sky beyond.

On a fine day, it's lovely to look up through their branches. On a windy one - it's a good idea to steer clear. Some of the cones fall small but many wait till they are large and heavy.

The bark is impressive but the trees are growing old. Branches are falling off and sap is oozing from some of their trunks. 

Ivy round a tree trunk which is leaking sap / resin.

It's forming globlets in the ivy

Mould on sap / resin leaked from trunk of mature tree.

and making a place for mould.

A cluster of nails in the trunk of a tree.

I don't know what the cause is (brilliantly informative post this!) but nails in the trunk don't seem to have given trouble. A cluster like this touches my sense of history. Why was it done? Don't say 'vandalism'. How did it come about that someone arrived with a hammer and nails? What were they thinking? Did they fetch them on purpose? Or, if not, what had they planned to do when they set out? Don't you think there's human interest here? I don't suppose it happened many years ago but would your reaction be different if we found something left like this from Tudor times? Or the eighteenth century? We're fascinated by graffiti from Norman days and marvel at marks left by ancient Romans.

There's a story behind this - and it's intriguing.

A globlet of sap leaks from the trunk of a tree.

And as for beauty . . . !

I'm Following a Tree
Are You? 
If you have posted recently
about the life of a particular tree
 you are 'following',
let me know 
and I'll put a link here.
* * *
Down by the Sea
* * *


Donna said...

They look like pine trees which are native here..of course there are many different kinds of pine trees....some do not have long lives and tend to break and snap especially if they are in wet or marshy areas or around an area that has been damaged...I believe their root system is shallower than other trees...of course I am no expert...so hopefully an expert on trees will have better info

Lucy said...

Hi, Donna. That's a specially interesting comment. These particular trees are growing on what used to be marshy land. It was drained at some point for the sake of a market garden which was later abandoned to donkeys. About twelve years ago the donkeys were replaced by a road and a housing estate. Gradually, branches are falling and the trees then felled for safety. I thought it was because they had all been planted roughly at the same time and were, therefore, coming to the end of their lives together - but it might well be that drained then disturbed marsh land, in the long term, is not a habitat they are comfortable in!

Down by the sea said...

Hi Lucy,
Are they a scots pine? We have quite a few similar trees around this area.
The nails are very close together aren't they. I have never noticed any sap oozing from the trunks. Each time I read your posts I realise I need to look more closely!

Mark Willis said...

Nails in trees say to me Notices. People used to nail posters and advertising leaflets to trees before advertising hoardings were common.

Elephant's Eye said...

They look very much like our invasive Mediterranean pines. Stone pine or cluster pine? Large cones would give pine kernels.

Crafty Gardener said...

I think your tree is a pine, possibly a white pine, but at least some variety.

Janet said...

Aren't iron nails associated with magic? Perhaps you have a local witches coven. Seen anyone wearing strange pointy hats lately?

Anonymous said...

Interesting post, and good photos, but I can't identify which pine it is or know the reason for the nails! Flighty xx

Lyn said...

Hello Lucy,
thank you for popping over to my blog and becoming a follower. I will put a link to yours on my side bar.
I have taken lots of photos of a massive horse chestnut I pass on the way to and from work every day, in all weathers and seasons. I sometimes blog about 'my tree' on my blog too.

Laura said...

Thanks for inspiring me to see my own garden a little differently... :)


PatioPatch said...

Your tree looks like a softish 'long haired'smaller specimen that is in my local square. I love to run my hands through its needles. Have been wondering what it is so hope you can ID it.
Love your 'walk this way' narrative and the questions that come to mind. Gorgeous globules of resin which I trust does not signal distress.
p.s. managed to post my tree this month

Lucy said...

Hello Down by the Sea. I really don't know what kind of pine they are - but there are lots in the area!

Hello Mark. If it had been one nail, I would have agreed. Or even two, spaced. But there are eight in the same spot.

Hello Diana. Have tried growing more from the seeds which drop out but not one has ever germinated.

Hello Linda. I had wondered about a white pine - but the crown doesn't look right. Most of the tops of these trees are flat rather than pointed. Not all - which adds to my confusion!

Hello Janet. I'll look out for the witches!

Hello Flighty. Seem to have solidarity in ignorance here.

Lyn - Pleased you like Loose and Leafy. I'll add your blog to the list - and do let me know when you do a tree following post and I'll put a link to that too.

Hello Laura - to be told one's blog is an inspiration is special indeed!

Hi, Pation Patch. The needles of these trees are too high to reach. I'll see if I can find a smaller version.

Lucy said...

Sorry Patio Patch - I seem to have re-named you Pation Patch. For some reason I do it every time I write the name of your blog and have to change it. Didn't notice this time. The phone rang and I pressed 'publish' without checking so I could answer it.

Lucy said...


You might like to know there's a new post on Loose and Leafy. Pictures of white blossom. Hope you like it.